This information is being regularly updated in line with latest Government guidance and advice. This information was checked and updated on 3 April 2020.

Advice to schools  

Together for Children works on behalf of Sunderland City Council to deliver Children's Services in Sunderland. It has been working in partnership with schools across the city to provide them with information and advice.

The Government have published its list of key workers. If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed your children will be prioritised for education provision.

Coronavirus: Maintaining educational provision - Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision

In response to Covid-19, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the virus. That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation, household isolation and social distancing.

While you might have a role within the Government's Key Worker list, you may be able to ensure your child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

The majority of Sunderland schools are open to the children of key workers and the most vulnerable children. From Monday 30 March some schools have operated as hubs - please visit the Together for Children website for details: www.togetherforchildren.org.uk/news/2020/school-hubs

The Department for Education has published guidance regarding Free School Meals (31.03.2020).

The guidance gives details of how schools may access a national free school meal voucher scheme to distribute vouchers to parents and carers who are in receipt of qualifying benefits. Please visit the Together for Children website for details, questions and answers: www.togetherforchildren.org.uk/news/2020/free-school-meals

Parents and carers should check their child's school website for the latest updated information.

The latest Public Health England advice for schools includes posters which can be displayed in school settings. 

Department for Education Coronavirus help line 

There is a help line to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the help line as follows: 

Phone: 0800 046 8687 
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk 
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.